As the world becomes more and more reliant on technology, it's becoming increasingly important to remember the value of good old-fashioned outdoor play. Not only is it a fun way to get some exercise, but it also helps to improve social skills, reduce stress, and increase creativity. From classic games like tag, cornhole and capture the flag to newer favorites like 9 square, spikeball and KanJam, there are so many different outdoor games to choose from. Lets explore the benefits of outdoor play and share some of my favorite games for you to try out with your friends and family. So, grab your sunscreen and get ready to have some fun in the sun!
Outdoor play offers a wide range of benefits for individuals of all ages. Here are some of the key benefits of outdoor play:
Physical exercise: Outdoor play is an excellent way to get some exercise, which is essential for overall health and well-being. Running, jumping, climbing, and other outdoor activities help to build strength, endurance, and coordination.
Vitamin D: Spending time outdoors also provides an opportunity to soak up some vitamin D from the sun. Vitamin D is essential for bone health, immune system function, and mood regulation.
Socialization: Outdoor play offers opportunities for socialization and interaction with others. Playing games with friends and family helps to develop social skills, teamwork, and communication.
Creativity: Outdoor play encourages creativity and imagination. Children can create their games, build structures, and explore nature, which helps to foster creativity and problem-solving skills.
Stress relief: Spending time outdoors has been shown to reduce stress and improve mood. Being surrounded by nature, fresh air, and sunshine can have a calming effect on the mind and body.
These are just a few of the many benefits of outdoor play. Whether you're a child or an adult, there are plenty of reasons to get outside and enjoy some fresh air and sunshine.
Here is a list of some of my favorite games that are easy to play regardless of age, shape, or size.
Tag - Choose one person to be "it." This person will chase the other players and try to tag them. The other players must try to avoid being tagged by running away from the person who is "it." If a player is tagged by the person who is "it," they become "it" and must chase the other players. Players cannot be tagged when they are standing on "safe zones" or "bases." These are designated areas where players can take a break from being chased. The game continues until all players have had a chance to be "it," or until the players decide to end the game. Variations of the game include freeze tag, where tagged players must freeze in place until another player tags them to unfreeze, and TV tag, where players must call out the name of a TV show to avoid being tagged.
Cornhole - Cornhole, also known as bean bag toss, is an outdoor game that is played with two boards and eight bean bags. The boards are typically made of wood or plastic and are raised off the ground at an angle. Each board has a hole at the top, and the objective of the game is to toss the bean bags into the holes. The rules of cornhole are, Set up the boards about 27 feet apart from each other. Divide into two teams, with each team standing behind one of the boards. Each team takes turns tossing their bean bags at the opposite board. A bag that lands on the board is worth one point, while a bag that goes into the hole is worth three points. The team with the highest score at the end of the game wins. The game is typically played until one team reaches 21 points, but this can be adjusted based on player preference.
Capture the flag - Capture the flag is an outdoor team game that is typically played with two teams. The objective of the game is for each team to capture the other team's flag and bring it back to their own base without being tagged by the opposing team. The rules are, Divide into two teams and designate each team's base. Each team should also have a flag that they will try to protect. The two teams then try to cross over into each other's territory and capture their opponent's flag. If a player is tagged by an opposing team member, they must go to "jail" or a designated area of the opponent's territory. A player can be released from jail if a teammate is able to tag them. The game ends when one team is able to successfully capture the other team's flag and bring it back to their own base without being tagged by the opposing team. Variations of the game include adding obstacles, allowing players to carry multiple flags, or playing with multiple teams.
9 Square - 9 Square is an outdoor game that is played with a large inflatable or metal frame that is divided into nine smaller squares. Each player stands in their own square, and the objective of the game is to eliminate players from other squares by bouncing a ball into their square. The rules are, Set up the frame and divide into nine squares, with each player standing in their own square. The player in the center square starts the game by bouncing the ball into one of the other squares. The player in that square must hit the ball into another square, and so on. If a player fails to hit the ball into another square, they are eliminated and must leave the game.Variations of the game include adding rules such as no holding the ball or no hitting the ball with the same hand twice in a row.
Spikeball - Spikeball is an outdoor game that is played with a small circular net and a ball. The objective of the game is to hit the ball onto the net in a way that makes it difficult for the opposing team to return the ball. The rules are, Set up the circular net on the ground and divide into two teams of two players each. One team starts the game by serving the ball onto the net, then hitting it to the opposing team. The opposing team must then hit the ball back onto the net within three touches, similar to volleyball. If a team fails to hit the ball onto the net, hits the ball out of bounds, or fails to return the ball within three touches, the other team scores a point. The game is typically played to 21 points, with a team winning by two points. Variations of the game include playing with more or fewer players, adding obstacles, or changing the scoring rules.
Kan Jam - Kan Jam is an outdoor game that is played with two plastic cans and a frisbee. The objective of the game is to score points by throwing the frisbee into the opening on the top of the can, or by deflecting the frisbee into the can with the help of a teammate. The rules are, Set up the two cans about 50 feet apart, with each can on opposite ends of the playing field. Divide into two teams, with each team standing behind one of the cans. One team starts the game by throwing the frisbee at the opposing team's can. The opposing team can try to deflect the frisbee away from the can or into the opening on top of the can with the help of a teammate. If a player throws the frisbee and it goes into the top of the can without any help from the opposing team, it is an instant win. If the frisbee hits the side of the can or goes out of bounds, no points are scored. The game is typically played to 21 points, with a team winning by two points.
In conclusion, outdoor play provides numerous benefits for people of all ages. It encourages physical activity, helps to develop important motor skills, boosts mental health, promotes social interaction and teamwork, and enhances creativity and problem-solving skills. From team sports to individual activities, there are many ways to enjoy the great outdoors and reap the benefits of outdoor play. Whether it's taking a hike, playing a game with friends, or simply spending time in nature, outdoor play is a fun and rewarding way to stay active and healthy. So, next time you have a chance, get outside and enjoy all that nature has to offer!